Andy Everson is an artist. He was taught by his mother how to paint and was inspired to bring stories and journeys to life through paint. He learned that he was able to create and manipulate shapes and images using digital programs and found that he got better control over what he produces. The designs could be tested and were more cost effective. This allowed him to become more independent and work at his own pace and preference. Andy posts on Facebook to share his art. He expressed that unlike galleries, he is able to get feedback and develop relationships through Facebook. Andy often manipulates popular images to spread messages. Some of these include changing the image of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team logo to show support, a anti-pipeline skull and oil drop image and a storm troopers helmet that has been adapted with traditional form line design. He uses these iconic images to juxtapose meaning and create an impact on topics that are important to his community and others around the world. Andy Everson has had a huge impact, having his images replicated and changed by others looking to use art as impact at protests and events around the world. These images are shared and spread because he uploads them on free digital forums such as Facebook. He is an excellent example of how you can use the digital age to spread a message that is true to your heart, without changing what you believe in.
This Youtube Video speaks about the need for change in urban schools. It speaks of the need for greater cultural inclusion, more Indigenous visibility, sharing the true history of Indigenous peoples, in hopes of raising awareness about Indigenous culture. The main speaker speaks of a need to encourage children to be proud of themselves and their roots so they can flourish in the school setting. This video made me consider the Week 10 discussion about place and its role in education. Place has been prominent in Indigenous cultural teachings and I believe it should be present in classrooms today. A greater understanding of place would result in a greater understanding of Indigenous history. In most of Canada, these two concepts are completely linked. Once students understand the way of life prior to colonization and the true history of how Canada has developed, they main gain a better understanding of how and why we see the Canada that we have today. I find there is a fundamental lack of comprehensive history teaching in schools. This seems to be very worrisome as I truly believe an understanding of the past is the key to a better present.
IDX stands for Indigenous Digital Excellence, it is an organization that works to promote Indigenous participation, practice and entrepreneurship. They work with the Torres Straight Islander peoples in Australia to deliver content and work directly with the community to strengthen their digital economy in a constructive way. The IDX runs workshops and programs. They have a comprehensive strategic plan to ensure that they are reaching their goals. One of their main priorities is strengthening relationships and raising awareness about their organization. One way they are reaching this goal is by having the IDX awards which highlight successful projects and stories of those working in the technology industry.
Here is video about the organization:
This website has links to a a variety of poetry from different Indigenous people and tribes. One of the links is called a teacher cyberguide. There you can find information about how you could use the poems and resources to structure a lesson or unit. I think poetry is a very important form of literature. It is subtle and thought provoking. It is often written much more methodically, instilling a great deal of passion and heart. Challenging students to create poetry is a great way to have them express deep and meaningful feelings. There is something inherent to poetry that makes those messages come out. This is also a great resource because it contains traditional poems form a variety of Indigenous peoples. Oral traditions are beautiful but sadly fleeting. As we have learned, there are many Indigenous students who are taught lessons from their elders. They may share poems such as the ones archived here, so it is good that they are preserved. This is one way to see how traditions and the digital age mesh together.
The WISN is the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network. I was interested in learning more about science from an Indigenous perspective to understand the differences and variations from Western science. On the home page of their website there is a section titled Science Research: https://wisn.org/category/indigenous-science-research/. This site shares information about how and when Indigenous science became recognized and coined as a term. It also highlights research that is currently being conducted. Their research library: http://library.wisn.org/ has categorized articles so they are easy to search. The categories include art, colonization, sacred sites, migration, traditional stories, star knowledge etc. This is really neat resource to gain a better understanding of Indigenous science and current areas of research. This network also has a variety of projects that are focused on empowerment, conservation and promoting research. They have one project that is a series of video productions! Great use of content creation and media to spread a message.
The Native Youth Artist Collective brings together Indigenous artists to showcase their work. Each of the artists involved can share their work on the website linked above. There are biographies so that visitors can learn about the artist and the message behind their work. The NYAC provides workshops for the artists so that they can try out different mediums and techniques.
NYAC works in conjunction with Beat Nation, an organization that brings together hip hop and Indigenous culture. They are focused on music, art and culture. Beat Nation recognizes a local movement that is centralized around hip hop in Indigenous communities. They took that focus and created this artist community where the message is about creating your own identity within a style, and telling your own story through art. I think curating art and artists like this is a really great way to foster growth and create a new community of individuals with like minded goals.
The youth at Standing Rock are shown in this YouTube video. The video highlights how the youth piloted the movement to protest their sacred burial grounds and drinking water from potential contamination caused by the Dakota Access pipeline. The video highlights active youth involved in this movement, sharing their stories and experiences on an open platform. The youth council’s goal was to be at this location and pray, not to antagonize the police. I found it very eye-opening to understand the heart of the protest and gain a better understanding about how and why the Indigenous Youth Council fought so hard for this movement. It was interesting to hear their personal stories, outlining how they feel perceived by others and what they want to change.
As we discussed in the Week 8 postings, it was evident in the module videos that youth in many communities have limited involvement with traditional ways of life, aside from what they are taught by elders. Many of the youth expressed a desire to learn more about traditional sewing, singing, language and other art forms. The Mitac program funds students to complete research in Canada. This particular student Jessica Blain from Australia focused on evaluating arts based cultural programs in an attempt to fully understand their effect. She focused on theatre based programs to improve mental health and well being. I found this article interesting because it highlighted Jessica’s experience in Canada and made connections between her experiences with Indigenous culture here in Canada and in Australia. I think it is positive to draw connections where appropriate and make links to programs that are creating positive impact in Indigenous communities globally.
By using a format common among youth to spread a message, I think the IndigenousEnviroNet are being proactive and raising a great deal of awareness. With over 30,000 followers, they have found a way to channel Indigenous voices and reach a large platform of individuals. Twitter is an interesting platform because of its restrictive and concise nature. I find that in many cases, this is a benefit to the platform. Twitter posts often break down more complex themes and messages and make them accessible. Sometimes things may be over simplified, but I think it is an excellent way to inspire interest. The IndigenousEnviroNet tackles topics from politics, environment, social and ecological justice and much more.
I found the Week 8 discussions and videos quite eye opening. So, in finding postings for this Module’s weblog, I wanted to focus on Indigenous Youth and what opportunities exist for them. InSTEM is a culturally relevant program that is community based and aims to connect Indigenous Youth with STEM projects. The program has a very broad reach of around 30,000 youth in over 200 communities. It was recognized by Indspire and is regarded as a successful practice in Indigenous education.
The programs are designed to build upon previous knowledge and facilitate collaboration and creativity. Programs are designed as camps, clubs and workshops. There are workshops related to mining, coding, mentorship, northern ways of life and many others. InSTEM has found a way to marry traditional ways with current educational practices and focuses. They have taken in to account ecological and cultural practices to ensure safe and appropriate workshops that will benefit its participants.